Guest view: Backing Israel, Iowa hits BDS movement
Denise Bubeck, Barb Hirsch-Giller and Jacob Millner
Read the full article at http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/guest/guest-view-backing-israel-iowa-hits-bds-movement/article_e26d3682-cff9-5201-a7dd-8f3670e05f5b.html
The Iowa State Legislature spoke resoundingly with the passage of legislation that rejects bigotry, rejects anti-Semitism, and prevents state agencies from working with companies that unjustly discriminate against one of America’s closest allies – Israel. The bill is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Terry Branstad.
We commend Iowa for taking a strong stance in passing legislation that combats the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement – a deceptive effort aimed at delegitimizing Israel. At its core, the BDS movement is virulently anti-Semitic, and calls for the destruction of Israel – the only Jewish state. This hate-fueled initiative seeks to undermine the longstanding and mutually beneficial relationship between the United States and Israel, and ultimately derail peace in the Middle East region.
That Iowa’s lawmakers refused to engage in the discriminatory BDS effort lobbed at Israel is a testament to the shared values embodied in the U.S.-Israel friendship – values that oppose bigotry in all its forms.
Through the BDS movement, Israel has been unfairly singled out for years and held to a disgraceful double standard. BDS supporters wave the flag of human rights, but they rely on anti-Semitic rhetoric and deceptive storytelling to demonize the Jewish state. BDS attempts to mislead businesses, educational institutions and more into boycotting Israel while turning a blind eye to the world’s most egregious human rights violators, such as Iran.
While Israel has emerged as one of the most dedicated countries to upholding ethical standards and human rights, Iran continues to hang gays and execute women, while it reaps the benefits of the Iranian nuclear accord’s dismantlement of economic sanctions. The people of Iowa are clearly intelligent enough to see the difference.
Iran continues not only to attack Western values, but most recently, their very own hackers have been attacking America’s critical infrastructure. The U.S. Justice Department recently charged seven hackers linked to the Iranian government with cyber-attacks on 46 major American financial institutions and a New York dam.
Last year, economic sanctions were working to cripple the funding of Tehran’s nuclear, terrorist and hegemonic aspirations. The elimination of these economic sanctions through one of history’s most poorly negotiated deals, the Iranian nuclear accord, has only served to embolden Iranian aggression.
In stark contrast with Iran, Israel is a peace-seeking nation and an essential contributor to innovative discoveries that have transformed the fields of health and technology worldwide. The notion of boycotting, divesting and sanctioning a nation such as Israel – the only true hope for peace in a region plagued by terrorism and extremism – demonstrates either a failed understanding of humanity or outright bigotry.
This victory in Iowa is just the latest in a series of states including Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Florida and South Carolina to support Israel’s battle against BDS. The Israel Project is proud to have a played an instrumental role along with so many other critical partners in advocating against this dangerous movement. We agree wholeheartedly with the people of Iowa: anti-Semitism and duplicitous anti-Israel movements have no place in the United States, and they don’t belong in Iowa.
Denise Bubeck is Des Moines and southwest region Iowa ambassador at The Family Leader. Barb Hirsch-Giller is a social worker and past president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines. Jacob Millner is Midwest regional director and senior policy analyst at The Israel Project.